2016 closed around a continued effort to “salvage” the medical profession’s reputation, but the notion that it’s broken continues to be counterproductive.
The brightest students, for example, question the long journey and delayed gratification being a physician entails. They do the math and continue to engage in other professions that are medical but not specifically Medical Doctorate degrees or Doctor of Osteopathic degrees. These same students conclude there is no longer a reason to choose to be a doctor because the culture seems to regard doctors less. And on top of that, the financial and physical debt incurred is harder to pay back.
Pre-medical students, already feeling wary of a long and stressful road ahead, question the sanity of pursuing a medical degree. This is the logical conclusion of watching all of the turbulence and frustration from the establishment.
Discussion groups amongst doctors entertain the question: ”Would I choose to be a doctor again?” What a daring and provocative question to ask!
We must be vigilant to avoid souring the future of medicine for prospects, and we need to address problems within the medical field. Let’s prevent the burgeoning ideology of young professionals that being a doctor isn’t worth it.
Here are four reasons why being a doctor is:
1. Becoming a doctor has long been an esteemed honor. As experts in science, biology, wholeness and wellness, doctors remain influential members of society. And they will continue to be the foremost authority on health and wellness for a long time.
2. Doctors invite themselves to experience other’s vulnerability. It’s an honor to be so intimately involved and dedicated to the exploration of creating well-being.
3. A doctor not only experiences the health and wellness of their patients but their sickness and ultimate death. This glimpse at mortality and the fragility of life that hone efforts to sanctify life and progress society. This awareness allows doctors to influence society for the better.
4. Doctors are part of a community which fosters support and creates social awareness that, indeed, doctors need rest just like anyone else.
Medical students need our reassurance that they will be rewarded and regarded. They need our efforts to secure their commitments with meaning. They also need our reflections on the incredible and very honorable role we serve to our society. Such an honor and promise of mastery and lifetime productivity and trusted intimacy is no small feat for the weak. It is for the exemplary students with the biggest hearts. It is for wisest and most compassionate that we hope are attracted to our profession.
Would you select medicine again? Would you advise the brightest students to our order?
Be an instrument of changes as much as you are a tool of inspiration, lest we all suffer without guidance and care and the best on our side.
Jean Robey is a nephrologist who blogs at ethosofmedicine.
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